Nulsen stabbing sees offender jailed for four years

A 35-year-old man was sentenced to four years in jail after stabbing his ex-partner with a steak knife and hitting her with a glass bottle.

Jack James Dempster was sentenced in Kalgoorlie District Court by Judge John Prior on August 12 after pleading guilty to 'an act as a result of which the life, health or safety of the victim was, or was likely to be endangered'.

The court heard that on June 7, 2018, Dempster was with his then-partner at a home in Nulsen, despite a restraining order barring contact with her.

The offender was also serving a suspended imprisonment order at the time.

Dempster and the victim had been in an on-and-off relationship for about seven years.

The court was told the two were mourning the victim's recent miscarriage and drank alcohol throughout the day.

At some point in the evening, the victim went back to her sister's home on her own. Her sister and Dempster also went back there. The offender said to the victim, "where you went to, you dog?" and continued to verbally abuse her.

He then stomped on her right foot twice.

She went to leave the dining area and as she walked away, Dempster hit her hard in the back with a chair.

The victim told Dempster, "I'm leaving you. We're finished," and he replied, "you're leaving? I will kill you. I will kill myself".

The victim tried to leave, but the offender pulled her back into the dining room and punched her in the head, the court was told.

Dempster then took a large steak knife from the kitchen and stabbed her in the head about four times. He then hit her repeatedly on the head with a glass wine bottle.

The victim struggled to breathe, her vision blurred and she heard her sister calling for help.

The victim suffered serious injuries, including four deep wounds to her skull between six and 10 centimetres in length.

She required extensive stitching to close the wounds.

A few days later the victim told police, "I'm at a point in our relationship where I believe that, if he was to kill me, then I wouldn't care. It would mean that he would finally leave me alone."

The offender had left the scene before police arrived and was arrested by Esperance Detectives in his home at 5.40 am the next morning.

Dempster admitted he knew he was restrained from contacting the victim and said there was an argument because he became jealous. Dempster also admitted stabbing the victim "all over her head".

He was charged and refused bail.

Dempster pleaded guilty in September 2018.

His lawyer Miriam Kelly said her client had been invited by his former partner to drink alcohol together to grieve the loss of their unborn child.

Ms Kelly said at some point meth was purchased. She said Dempster believed his partner had exchanged sexual favours for the drug and the altercation became physical.

Ms Kelly said her client accepted he stomped on her foot, but didn't recall hitting her with a chair.

She said the offender used the knife to demand answers from her and flicked her with the knife when she didn't answer.

Ms Kelly conceded the injuries were "fairly extensive and fairly bloody", but said "they're not catastrophic injuries" and "were not life threatening".

She told the court her client had suffered neglect and abuse as a child.

Ms Kelly said Dempster was remorseful, had hopes for rehabilitation and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, but conceded an immediate jail sentence was the only appropriate outcome.

Prosecutor Katherine Kemm said a substantial jail term was needed to protect the victim and the community.

Ms Kemm pointed out that in 2013 and in 2016 Dempster used weapons against defenceless individuals, being convicted of an unlawful wounding and an assault as a result.

The prosecution said it was "sheer luck" Dempster's assault didn't cause greater harm.

Judge Prior said the maximum sentence for the charge was 20 years in jail.

The judge accepted Dempster was invited to drink with the victim, but said it was his responsibility to comply with the restraining order.

Judge Prior accepted Dempster had a suffered a "deprived background" and gave him credit for his early plea and remorse.

However, the judge concluded Dempster had tried to stab the victim in the head.

"It was a ferocious attack, using a knife and a bottle as weapons, and your intent was to cause some significant injuries," he said.

Judge Prior backdated the offender's sentence to his arrest on June 8, 2018 and made him eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence or two years.

The judge also imposed a family violence restraining order for life, protecting the victim.